The inaugural winner of the $500,000 =Dreams Asia Breakthrough Prize was announced on May 4. The nation-wide competition invited new solutions to alleviate poverty in Singapore. 63 teams submitted their ideas in the first round and eight shortlisted teams received seed funding of $25,000 to further develop their solutions. They also received mentorship and access to potential funders, dialogues with policymakers, and coaching sessions.
The President*s Young Talents programme was relaunched in 2021 as the nation’s only mentoring, commissioning and award programme for emerging artists 35 and below. This year, it rewarded ten artists for the artworks they developed under the mentorship of a panel including Heman Chong, Charles Lim and Ang Song Ming. Their artworks are currently being exhibited at the Singapore Art Museum as part of the triennial APB Foundation Signature Art Prize.
Architect Tan Kay Ngee, principal of the Kay Ngee Tan Architects firm, was recognised for his exemplary work in Singapore and globally over four decades. He is credited for his design of iconic green public spaces including Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, Kampung Admiralty and Jurong Lake Gardens, while also pushing boundaries to further Singapore’s “City in Nature” vision.
A team of GIX students won the top prize in this year’s competition with a solution to track inventory usage and improve offloaded passenger compensation. Their idea uses radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and weight sensors to minimise the amount of time, effort and cost that goes into the current system.
For the third year running, the Singapore Prize, which honours the best works of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction by Singaporeans in the languages of English, Mandarin, Tamil and Malay, saw an increase in reader votes. 4,000 readers voted this time around, roughly double the number who did last year.
This year’s finalists were:
Besides the 10 top prizes, there are three merit prize winners and five commendations awarded in each of the language categories. The winners were celebrated tonight at the NTUC Centre’s Stephen Riady Auditorium.
The Singapore Prize was started in 2014 by an endowment from an anonymous donor and is supported by the NUS Department of History. It is open to writers in the languages of English, Mandarin, Tamil, and Malay who write about any period, theme or field of Singaporean history. The prizes are administered by the National Book Council of Singapore. Tonight’s event marked the first time that the public was invited to attend the awards ceremony. It was attended by a crowd of more than 1,500 people, with Manyana Chee winning the top prize for her poem The Imaginary City and Farihan Bahron receiving the top prize in Malay poetry as well as a commendation in fiction. You can find the full list of winners here. The awards were presented by Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth Chan Chun. You can watch the highlights of tonight’s ceremony on YouTube here.